NUTRITION | IMPORTANCE | FOOD SOURCES OF VITAMINS
Vitamins are organic substances found in plants and animals, essential for normal growth and optimal body health.
As we know foods affects almost everything we do, it affects our appearance, how we feel and how we act, so for that we need to have a varied and balanced diet.
What Vitamins are?
- Vitamins are organic compound, which means that is contains carbon, and is essential nutrient that the body may need to get food from.
- Vitamins helps in building bones and tissues and helps in changing carbohydrates and fats into energy.
- Our body cannot make most vitamins and for that they must be supplied from the food we eat.
There are two main groups of vitamins: fat-soluble vitamins (easy stored in fat upon absorption) and water-soluble vitamins (washed out and not easy stored).
FAT-SOLUBLE VITAMINS – THESE VITAMINS DISSOLVE FAT AND CAN BE STORED IN THE BODY.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A play an important role in bone growth and tooth development, also maintains healthy eyes and skin.
GOOD SOURCE OF VITAMIN A(RETINOL)
Milk and yoghurt
Fortified low-fat spreads
Liver and liver products such as liver pate (this are very rich source of Vitamin A)
We can also get vitamin A by including good source of beta-carotene, as the body can convert this into retinol.
THE MAIN SOURCE OF BETA-CAROTENE:
Yellow, red, and green (leafy) vegetable, such as spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers
Yellow fruits, such as mango, papaya, and apricots
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D promotes absorption of phosphorus and calcium to build and maintain bones. The nutrients are needed to keep the bones, teeth, and muscles healthy.
GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN D
Our body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors, make sure you use sunscreen protection.
Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods such as:
Oily fish – salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel
Fortified foods – fat spreads and breakfast cereals.
If you are allergic or don’t eat those foods listed above, you can have vitamin D from dietary supplements.
Vitamin E protects red blood cells and stabilizes cell membranes, also maintain healthy skin and eyes, and strengthen the body’s natural defence against illness and infection.
Good source of Vitamin EVitamin E is a group of compounds found in a wide variety of foods and that includes:
- Plant oils (vegetable oils)- rapeseed oil, sunflower, soya, corn, and olive oilWheat germWhole grainsDark green leafy vegetablesNuts and seeds
Vitamin K Vitamin K is a group of vitamins that the body needs for blood clotting and helping wounds to heal.
Good sources of vitamin K
- Green leafy vegetable – broccoli, kale, cabbage, spinach
- Vegetable oils
- Cereal grains
- Small amount can be found in meat and dairy
- Water-soluble Vitamins (washed out and not easy stored in the body.
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin VB2)
- Niacin (VitaminB3)
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
- Vitamin B6
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B1
Good source of Vitamin B1Pork chopsBrawn riceHamSoy milkWatermelonsAcorn squash
- Riboflavin Vitamin B2
- Niacin – Vitamin B3 (Nicotinic Acid)
- Pantothenic Acid Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Acid Folic – The folic acid is vital for new cells creation and DNA.
- Good sources of Folic acidFortified grains and cerealsAsparagus, spinach, greens, broccoli,Legumes like black-eyed peas and chickpeasOrange juiceTomato juice
- BiotinBiotin helps make and break down some fatty acids and synthesize glucose in our body. Vital for healthy bones, nails, hair, and skin.
GOOD SOURCES OF BIOTIN
Whole grains and cereals
- Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid
We needed it in the body for collagen growth, wound healing, bone formation, enhancing the immune system, absorption of iron, strengthening blood vessels, and acting as an antioxidant, boost the immune system.
- Good sources of Vitamin C
- Fruits and fruit juices especially citrus
- Potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach
- Brussels sprouts
Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle!
Don’t forget you are what you EAT.